Hales’ step up ladder confirmed

Knights Norfolk League champions Hales have had their promotion to the Norfolk Alliance rubberstamped and will take their place in Division Three next season.

Knights Norfolk League champions Hales have had their promotion to the Norfolk Alliance rubberstamped and will take their place in Division Three next season.

After sealing the title in August, Hales initially saw their application for promotion rejected as they missed the Alliance deadline. When that issue was resolved, they hit another barrier as their ground failed to meet Alliance standards and they were given a deadline of October 31 to make the necessary improvements.

However, they have opted instead to groundshare with Norwich at Postwick next season and the move was approved at an Alliance committee meeting last week.

Alliance chairman John Tythcott said: “We are pleased that Hales have managed to find a home for next season that will allow them to take their place in Alliance Division Three. We are grateful to Norwich for helping us in this way. It's a great example of a senior club helping a junior club to make progress.”


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Hales will still go ahead with the improvements to their ground, with the aim of staging Alliance cricket there in 2009, although the club's second and third teams will continue to use the Hales Green facilities next year. Planning permission has been granted for a new portable buildings module which the club hopes to have in place by the end of the month and they also plan to lay a new square in the spring.

Tythcott added: “We agreed to the proposal after considerable discussion as it seemed the best way forward within our rules. It gives Hales more time to make the improvements necessary to bring their ground up to Alliance standards and we shall remain in close contact with them as that work progresses.”

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Hales chairman Pete Dye said he was delighted by the news and paid tribute to skipper - ex-Norfolk player Steve Rowe - for his work.

“Our aim when Steve arrived was to get there within five years and we have done it in two. We are ready for the challenge and looking forward to it. Although there was a lot of hard work done beforehand, Steve has been the catalyst - the team has won 27 league games out of 29 and that was not by accident.”

Dye said Hales were grateful to Norwich CC for allowing them to share the ground at Postwick. “It's a compromise which allows us to give our young players a continued test,” he added.

Hales will be joined in Alliance Division Three by Thetford, who achieved promotion as runners-up in West Norfolk League Division One because champions Grimston did not apply to go up.

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